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Chelsea's goalkeeping luxury: Courtois the Confident and Petr the Professional

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With Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech winning games, keeping clean sheets, making tremendous saves, and garnering our Man of the Match awards left, right, and center, Chelsea are in a unique and enviable position when it comes to goalkeepers.  No matter which of the two starts, we know we can count of a world class performance. That doesn't they can't have a rare off-day, but more often than not, the man between the posts is the least of our worries.

The situation could've turned out far differently.  Petr Čech could've thrown a tantrum.  Thibaut Courtois could've become unreasonably stubborn.  The fact that we managed to hang on to both of them for at least this one season is a credit to everyone involved, from the players and their agents to the club and the manager.

Young Courtois specifically credits Jose Mourinho for handling the situation in a way that gave him the confidence to go out there and show to the Stamford Bridge crowd in person that he's deserving of starting in the Chelsea living legend's place.

"I think he's a very good trainer. He has many trophies. He's a good motivator.  He doesn't have to say a lot to get the best out of me. I love to play football, so when I step out on the pitch, I try to do the best I can for the team. At half-time he always says things the way they are - and in a good way - so everybody is sharp for the second half."

"Chelsea called me back from Atletico so naturally I hoped to play this season. But I knew with Petr it would always be difficult to play every match. He's a top keeper. But when I started the season playing, it gave me more confidence."

-Thibaut Courtois, source: Evening Standard

Meanwhile, much to his credit, Petr Čech has handled his "demotion" with the utmost class and professionalism.  Chelsea goalkeeper coach Christophe Lollichon, who worked with Čech even before Chelsea came knocking for his services, has recently paid tribute to the 32-year-old veteran's attitude.

"Since the start of the season, we've known that we have two of the three or four best goalkeepers in the world. Whether it's one or the other who plays, it doesn't change anything. They are two big goalkeepers both in terms of size and talent."

"Of course it's difficult for Cech, who has been first-choice for 14 years in the clubs he's been at and who has been voted the Premier League's best goalkeeper several times, to be passed by a 22-year-old kid. He's a great pro who doesn't complain to the press, and who prepares himself as if he were going to play the next match."

-Christophe Lollichon; source: ESPN

While all signs point to Čech leaving in the summer to be first-choice at some other top club, perhaps we can selfishly dream a bit longer of having both of our Knights of the Rectangular Goal stay...

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